6 Zero Waste DIY Recipes

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While we have full control over what things we do and don’t buy, sometimes we don’t have any better alternatives available.😞Products these days have come a long way, but many of them still have very 🧟‍♀️unhealthy ingredients (for us and the earth), 🚮are packaged, 💵and can add up to a lot of money.

This is why DIY recipes can be such an amazing option. They can provide (especially when in bulk) a package free, cost effective, and healthier alternative to the status quo.🙌🏽

With mostly everything on this list, you choose what ratios are best for you. I can only speak (write) from personal experience, word of mouth, and what the eco-experts are saying.📚Everyone is different, so don’t be afraid to personalize these recipes to fit your needs. 👞

Our list of DIY recipes will consist of:

  • All purpose cleaner
  • Facial scrubs
  • Makeup remover
  • Mascara and eyeliner
  • Laundry detergent
  • Deodorant

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

All Purpose cleaner


🍝Cooking spills, 🦠germs, 🍁maple syrup preventing you from lifting your feet off the floor, and the other unmentionables all require some type cleaning agent.🧼

The typical philosophy has been to create liquids that can lift any mess up and kill any bacteria even if it destroys our lungs and bodies along the way.⚰️And just in case it didn’t get us, it has plenty of potential to leach into our 🍃surrounding environments. Ugh, I’m starting to prefer germs over this.

This all purpose cleaner is totally safe and can even be drunk! Is it drank or drunk? Either way, it will probs taste like how you would expect an all purpose cleaner to taste. 😷

The Recipe!

  • Half white vinegar
  • 🚰Half water
  • 💐An *optional* addition of essential oil of your choosing. For smell.

You can dilute it more or less based on how strong you want it. Or just dump a bunch of essential oil in there and you’ll have a very wet air freshener. JK, you probably shouldn’t do that as a replacement to a cleaner. While lavender can send the good vibes, it probably won’t clean too much. 😢

Facial Scrub from Simply Scrub!


This site has some amazing facial scrub recipes available that can be made from the fruits and veggies that are in your fridge! What?! While Simply Scrub also makes and sells their own facial scrubs, they provide all of their DIY recipes for free.🆒And we love them for it. 💚

These scrubs are so natural that it's difficult to not just eat the ingredients instead! 🍽

Choose from recipes that use 🍓strawberries, 🍌bananas, 🥒or even cucumbers. 

Instead of providing a recipe right here, we want you to instead go check out this amazing resource they have to offer. Just click here! 

Makeup remover

I was considering creating a bunch of buildup for this one but figured that would be a little too mean. So instead, I’ll get right down to it. 

The Recipe (drumroll please):

  • 🥥Coconut Oil! As much as you need!

Wow, what a recipe. Very complex.🧩

🤔Now, I know what you are thinking…it can’t be that easy! Well, me and my very short career in middle school 🎬theatre class can attest to this, as can many expert makeup remover-ers. Everyone is different though, so this may not work for you, and for that I apologize.

But for others, give it a shot and see if this simple swap could work! Maybe you could put it on a rag for extra removal power. Wash your face as you normally would when you’re done.

🧼And when those rags get too dirty, throw them in the washer! Which brings us to our next recipe!

Laundry Detergent 


Okay, so some of these DIYs’ are more switches than actual concoctions of various ingredients.👩🏽‍🔬This is a switch that can not only impact your wallet and the footprint of nasty detergents, but also the massive footprint of fashion and clothing.👗

Harsh chemicals have a lot of potential to harm and deteriorate fabrics. Many quality 👖denim companies are even recommending machine washing very rarely. Instead, most companies are saying to hand scrub out stained spots, or if they need a refresh then just some steam from the shower could do the trick.🚂

“So come on, get on with what the switch is!”

Switching to an all natural castile soap like Dr. Bronners is an amazing alternative. Simple as that.

This is a switch that I (the person writing this) can personally attest to since I’ve been doing it for a few years now.

You can also add in baking soda for the real funky stuff💩as well as white vinegar for an extra clean plus fabric softener for hard water. But for some reason I usually get away fine with just the soap.🤷

The company has given a great guide for specific measurements. They recommend:

  • 2-3 tablespoons or 30-45 mL castile Soap
  • ½ cup or 120 mL baking soda
  • 1 cup or 240 mL vinegar during rinse cycle

They also recommend halving those measurements for HE washers. To be honest I didn’t realize washers even had genders...

Anyway, here’s a video from Dr.Bronners on this, just in case you don’t trust me.😘

Adding to the whole “protect your clothes” thing, drying can be even worse for your clothes than washing. Always try to air dry clothing if you want them to last a long time. 

Mascara and Eyeliner


This recipe is from Kathryn Kellogg’s site Going Zero Waste which is an amazing resource for zero waste everything! She also has a lot of amazing recipes in her book 101 Ways To Go Zero Waste which actually made our list of Best Book for Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Living.

In the mascara and eyeliner article Kathryn mentions how this recipe is mainly geared towards saving money and controlling ingredients since there are now amazing refillable mascara and makeup companies out there. 

So, here’s the recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon of activated charcoal
  • ½ teaspoon of shea butter
  • 1 teaspoon of bentonite clay
  • 2-3 drops of oil (she recommends sweet almond or olive oil)

We hope this recipe works for you! It’s a great way to reduce packaging (especially when bought in bulk) and also save money.

Deodorant


lol, that's a stink bug.

💩Ahhh, funky armpits: an earth warrior’s worst nightmare. It’s a worst nightmare because traditionally, the alternatives to stinky pits have been deodorants laden with cancer and alzheimer's linked ingredients.☠️

“I may die, but at least I’ll smell nice!”

Now there are many natural and healthy options out there, but if you want to save money and reduce packaging, making your own is a great way to do that!

This recipe is from another zero waste gal named Lauren Singer. She is the founder and CEO of Package Free Shop and also runs a blog called Trash Is For Tossers. Here’s the video for the recipe.📹

And here’s the recipe!

  • 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of shea butter

In the video Lauren emphasizes how custom a deodorant recipe sometimes needs to be and how this may not work for everyone. That being said, it’s seen a lot of great feedback and seems to be a good base to alter and work from. 

Oh yeah, you probably want to know how to mix it all together. Lauren uses a double 🥣boiler system🥘in the video but you can also most likely melt and heat the shea butter and coconut oil beforehand instead. Just make sure it’s warm enough so it doesn't solidify before fully mixed. To be honest, when she said double boiler I pictured some crazy steampunk contraption. 

Here’s to fresh pits!

We hope you enjoyed these sometimes creative and other times simple recipes. It doesn’t take much to create a life that’s more in line with our values, but the most important thing is that we start today.👊

Written by Aaron Burr 

A writer dedicated to working solely with companies on a mission to help the earth and people on it.